Meritorious Designation

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Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are teaming up to offer "meritorious" certification status to distinguished teacher graduates completing either an undergraduate or graduate level program. Smart, talented prospective teachers earning this distinction from the newly formed "Mid-Atlantic Regional Teachers Project" can more readily change jobs in any of the participating states, avoiding the invariable paperwork hassles resulting from disparate state certification requirements. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Teachers Project, which may also soon include New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has certified its first class of 192 new teachers, all of whom achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average, completed 400 hours of supervised teacher training and scored in the top 25 percent among students nationally on the Praxis II and the Graduate Record Examinations.

Programs such as this, intentionally or not, are chipping away at the dying notion that a teacher is a teacher is a teacher. Not too far down the road, it will be groups such as this that districts and states will single out for higher pay. Once schools start identifying teachers as exceptional, no matter where they are in the pipeline, the issue of higher compensation can't be disregarded for long. As in the alt cert stories above here's a bit more evidence of an archaic system beginning to crumble.